Clay Yarborough

1. In recent years, the Mayor and City Council have used a mix of revenue increases and cuts in expenses to balance the city budget. Do you agree? If not, what would you do differently? I support fiscally-responsible City budgets. The Council has been asked to raise taxes and fees, though I am not convinced that all unnecessary spending has been eliminated from recent budgets prior to their respective approvals. It takes money to run the City, but leaders need to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely on core, essential services only. 2. Do you support the Jacksonville Journey? Explain your answer. I support some of Jacksonville Journey. When the concept was first introduced a few years ago, I believe it was responsible to include the Sheriff’s request for funding of additional officers to help combat Jacksonville’s acquired title of ‘Murder Capital of Florida;’ however, I still do not believe it is a core function of the City to fund after-school programs and out-ofschool suspension centers. It is more appropriate for those activities to receive funding from the School Board, which may be experiencing tight budgets, but so is the City. Also, the City’s funding of college scholarships in the amount of ~$1 million per year should not take place. The Sheriff recently shared with me that overall crime in the city has decreased, but he acknowledged that results from Jacksonville Journey’s elements are inconclusive as contributing factors because of the effort’s infancy. 3. What endorsements have you received? • • • • • Northeast Florida Association of Realtors First Coast Manufacturers Association Northeast Florida Builders Association State Senator Steve Wise State Representative Lake Ray

4. How much civic activity do you perform outside work? The position of Council Member is labeled “part-time,” but I believe additional time is necessary in order to effectively respond to constituents and adequately understand legislation. This has often equated to working in the office in the evenings or on Saturdays (as necessary). I enjoy participating in neighborhood clean-ups with District 1 residents and also adopted a portion of Monument Road for litter control for a period of time. I am an active member of First Baptist Church, have been a member of the Sheriff’s Advisory Council (ShAdCo) for several years, and was recently asked to join the board of City Rescue Mission. 5. How do you intend to comply with Florida’s public records and government in the sunshine laws? If you saw an elected official breaking the sunshine law, what would you do? As a Councilman, I have attended and will continue to attend the annual training provided by the City’s Ethics Officer and Office of General Counsel in order to stay familiar with Florida’s

public records and Sunshine laws. If I saw an elected official breaking the Sunshine law, I would feel compelled to bring the matter to the appropriate party’s attention. 6. What can you do to help support the clean-up of the St. Johns River? Continue to support the City’s effort to appropriately maintain stormwater infrastructure in order to reduce nitrogen and other chemical levels in the river, support appropriate environmental regulations/activities, participate and encourage participation in river clean-up days 7. How can you become engaged in the city’s high murder, infant mortality and suicide rates? Continue to support adequate funding of Sheriff’s Office activities, continue membership on the Sheriff’s Advisory Council (ShAdCo), encourage other residents to stay vigilant in their neighborhoods and get engaged, support organizations that are working to reduce those elements that we do not want to see increase in our city 8. Has consolidation been a good or bad deal for Jacksonville? Please explain your answer. The nearly 40+ year history of consolidation seems to have yielded mostly favorable results, though some challenges have emerged. In the positive, as it relates to governmental coordination, there is no potential for conflict between a county commission vs. city council, or city manager vs. mayor. Also, the city has been able to grow and develop new opportunities in ways that may have otherwise not been possible without consolidation. One concern, however, is whether it allows for effective management of all elements. For example, the size of the school district sometimes makes it difficult to steer. Also, the independent authorities (JTA, JAA, etc.), though created to operate ‘independently,’ have, on some occasions, attempted to operate a little too independently in their decision-making, one in particular going directly against the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Council Candidates: What is the role of a council member? As mini-mayor? Or as legislator? Legislator; effective check-and-balance on Executive Branch

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